Journal impact metrics attempt to quantify the importance of a particular journal in its field, usually via an algorithm that takes into account the number of articles published per year and the number of citations to articles published in that journal. Like author impact measurements, journal impact measures have limitations. Dissatisfaction with existing metrics has contributed to the development of new metrics such that there are now quite a few. While these metrics do tell us something, researchers in a discipline will have the best sense of the top journals in their field.
Boxes on this page include descriptions of the more common journal impact metrics, as well as what tools to use to find the metrics.
You can access Journal Citation Reports (JCR), a product of Thomson Reuters, via Web of Science (look for the link to Journal Citation Reports under Products in the upper right at the top of the page). Published annually, JCR provides a number of journal impact measurements for journals in the sciences and social sciences. Reported metrics include Impact Factor, 5-year Impact Factor, Immediacy Index, Journal Citation Indicator, and others. Since 2007, JCR has also included Eigenfactor Metrics.
The Sources tab is available via the top menu bar in Scopus. You can search for a particular journal (changing the drop-down menu to Title), or browse sources alphabetically or by subject.
Available metrics are CiteScore, SJR, and SNIP. More information on finding and using these metrics from the Sources menu is under Using the Sources List.
Google Scholar Metrics includes a top 100 list of journals for particular subject fields ranked using their 5-year h-index. You can look at top journals in particular subject categories and sub-categories. The underlying data come from Google Scholar. Sections on Metrics, Coverage, and Inclusion tell you more about how the rankings were derived.
Journal Impact Factor
Eigenfactor and Article Influence Scores
Journal Citation Indicator
SNIP (Source Normalized Impact per Paper)